If Ronald Reagan Was Alive Today He Would Be A Democrat – And Supporting Obama

Oh no you dii’int; oh YES i did!  Ronald Reagan is seen by the right as a conservative hero, a transformative president.  You could play a drinking game with the number of times the Presidential candidates invoke his name.  If Ronnie was running in this cycle I think he would have been out of the race before the buffoon from Texas, seriously I think the far right/tea party groups would have looked at his record and deemed him not committed enough or conservative enough.  Ronnie is famous for saying “if we agree 80% of the time we can work out the 20%”  In today’s world that statement and whomever said it or agreed with it, would be driven out of Washington.  So, we know that Reagan could compromise.  Imagine what we could get done today if both sides compromised?  Instead we have a congress where “its my way or the highway” as Olympia Snowe pointed out as one of her reasons for not seeking reelection.  A government can’t run with no compromise; thats called a dictatorship.  People always say Obama had both houses of congress the first 2 years of his administration.  While this is technically true, many of the Democrats were the so called Blue Dog Dems who were too afraid to vote for Obamas agenda, they were afraid of losing their jobs.

The problems facing this country are huge, staggering unemployment, unseen numbers of long term unemployed, poverty, the stability of social security and medicare, the health care epidemic and of course the national dept.  Imagine if Ronnie was alive now and went to tackle all of those issues with the 80/20 mindset.  You can’t negotiate with people that say no to everything.  All of you Reagan loving people, follow his example of compromise.  Don’t forget Ronnie raised taxes 17 times during his administration.  SEVENTEEN TIMES!

I think the situation in Washington is even worse than it seems.  I think the Republican party decided before Obama was inaugurated that they would block everything he tried to do.  And thats exactly what they have done.  What if they were willing partners in 2009; what if we had had that $1.8T stimulus and today we were at full employment with a growing GDP and economy.  I am disgusted, as I am sure many Americans are, about the lack of accomplishments in Washington.  The Republicans need to study Ronnie more, learn from his successes and how he won them.  If Ronnie was alive he would be supporting Barack Obama today.

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Motivation — Are We Born With It or Is It Learned Behavior?

Motivation has always been of interest to me.  Why do some people have the motivation to get up and go to the gym, then have a busy day at work, followed by outings with friends, while other people have little to no motivation?  Is motivation something we are born with or is it learned behavior, does it have anything to do with being an introvert or extravert?   The question of motivation has come to a more personal way to me since I was laid off.  All this free time and what kind of motivation do I have to do things, send out resumes, network, get things done.  Of course its so much easier when you are working because your workday consists of getting up, going to work, you have a set schedule and motivation can be less of an issue, since you are already out there in the world.  What I want to talk about is all of the people who are out of work, who have been out of work for over a year; how do they get motivated, what gets them going in the morning.  What kind of effects will anyone growing up in this day and age have as a lasting impression.  We all hear there are no jobs for college grads; does hearing that lessen peoples motivation to apply for jobs since they think it will be a futile effort?  Thats why I think this time is going to have lasting effects on generations to come, the uncertainty of being able to have a job; the gloomy prospects of the economy and everyone around you.  The Great Depression had those effects on millions of people.  I was brought up to never, ever, waste money.  Thats a depression mentality, its also a good way to live, but the reasons I was taught this by my parents and grandparents was because of the Great Depression.  And, the ironic part of it was that my family was doing very well during those depression years.

Everyone has heard that the more you do the more motivation you will get; that motivation doesn’t necessarily come to you but once you start doing something (gym, etc) you will bring the momentum to you.  I have heard this over and over again.  I have lived it, and I know it to be true.  But, when you stop going to the gym your mind, or my mind, forgets that you should try action first and let the motivation follow.  Currently I am in the forgetting phase.  Its a similar situation with looking for a job, how many interviews can you go on before you feel like you want to throw in the towel?  How many resumes can you send out knowing no one will probably read them.  So, my advice to anyone listening is go out and do something  every day, jog, run go to spin class; the motivation will snowball and you will see for yourself how much better you feel.  For the many of us who have been there, done that the challenge is much harder.

Advice for Corporate America, Job Seekers and Innovation – Ginsburg Style

For the last few weeks I have been actively participating in “social media” including my jobs/unemployment @GinsburgJobs and my political @AndrewSGinsburg, and of course this blog you are reading now.  So far from what I have seen most people tweet tidbits of advice – the 5 best ways to succeed; the 10 things to remember in an interview.  Most of this wisdom will link you back to a service that you have to pay for.  I have a few thoughts on this, first, the question I always ask in every situation is “why” why are those good tips; if you aren’t yourself in an interview you probably won’t do well in the job.  This takes for granted the common sense I would imagine most people have, firm handshake, look people in the eye, do research on the company you are interviewing for and so on.  My second thought on all of this is what if you do actually get the job; all the tips here seem to be about what to do to get the job, or career coaches to help you do well at the job.

An issue I have brought up a lot on here is leadership:  can it be taught or is it instinctual also and more importantly do companies even want to hire leaders.  I have lots of horrific tales to tell about Corporate America, but lets just say the person who always asks “why would a client/prospect want that, why don’t we try this?” is not the most popular person in a corporate setting.  I don’t think companies want leaders, I think they want followers.  The CEO is the leader everyone else follows, period.  This of course is devastating for the products and services and business practices of American Companies.  No innovation, no contrasting points of view, this all leads to group think.  Of course all companies are not like this, just the majority of them are.

So, social media has been fun, I am enjoying seeing what people have to say, seeing reactions from other people to what I have to say (thats the part I like best)!  I have been told I communicate very well and am quite articulate.  This is another big issues in companies, communication.  Its very surprising for me that senior level people can’t communicate; how on earth would you expect things to get done if you can’t tell people what you want them to do.  My questions about whether leadership and communication can be taught is yes and no.  If you go to most of the trainers/coaches out there I would say you won’t learn either.  If you worked directly with me I could, and have, taught people both.

 

From American Pride to American Disgrace

A few thoughts on the War On Terror; I think George W. Bush had the best of intentions when he launched this war and started us on a new way of thinking. I think President Barack Obama has carried out and continued this was much more shrewdly and successfully than Mr. Bush. Mr. Obama’s use of drones has been immensely successful, he has all but decimated al Qaeda, while at the same time keeping our troops safer. I do think Obama understands the world of today better than almost anyone; he is seeking a way to have America seem less arrogant, keeping us safer and not conveying to the world that the US is run by a unilateral cowboy. The problem with all of this? President Obama isn’t getting any credit it for it. The Bush team makes it seem like the only thing Obama had to do with the death of Osama was to say “ok” to a mission that really was created under Bush. FALSE. Bush took his eyes off of Osama and Afghanistan in 2003; it was Obama’s refocusing on capturing or killing bin Ladin that made us, or I should say him, kill Osama. Mr. Obama is fighting a more effective war on terror, or war on Islamic radicals much better than George Bush did. President Obama just needs to get out there and talk about his accomplishments, talk about his vision, and talk about where he wants to take the country.

US Pride To An Unclear Mission That Needs To End

I am talking about Afghanistan, a subject many people might be sick of hearing about in recent days.  As a New Yorker when our icons were attacked and destroyed I was devastated; how could this happen here?  I was one of the lucky ones, I, nor anyone I knew died.  We were living in Battery Park City at the time and weren’t able to go home for 2 weeks; a minor inconvenience – although extremely unsettling.  When President Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to turn over Osama bin Laden or face the consequences we were all behind the President 100%.  When we went to war and over threw the Taliban and sent Osama et al into their caves it was a proud moment for America.  We had been brutally attacked and now we were showing the world don’t ever mess with us.  This is where things started going terribly wrong.  We took our eyes off of Afghanistan and headed to Iraq.  Between 2003 and 2009, when Obama came into office no one really knows what was going on in Afghanistan, most of the reporting was on Iraq.

Fast forward to present day, we are told we are staying in Afghanistan until its military is able to protect its citizens (2014) and until we are sure al Qaeda can never come back.  Both of these conditions are preposterous.  I don’t believe the Afghan army  will every be able to protect its country; and al Qaeda is everywhere, even in the United States.  As an American the outrage over the burnings of the Koran’s enraged me.  All of that energy used for the protest, all of that momentum, all of the standing together to unite against us – seeing that made me ask, why aren’t they this passionate about their own country, their own government, living life the way they want to? As I recently said, we can’t want freedom and democracy for the them more than they want it for themselves.

Our goals are unattainable unless we want to be there another 50 years.  We have an unwilling partner in the Afghan people to stand up for themselves.  Vice President Joe Biden, from reports I have heard, not personal conversations, was right.  We should change our mission there, the mission should be counter terrorism only.  If al Qaeda comes back use the drones to defeat them.  Its time this decade long endeavor comes to an end.

The Republican Pres Candidates Make Me Ashamed to be an American – Brzezinski

I was watching the Sunday news shows yesterday and this quote stood out in my mind.  Mr. Brzezinski was talking about how Obama knows more about the world than any other president in modern history; when asked about the Republican Presidential candidates, he said they made him ashamed to be an American.  You know what, I feel the same way.

Rick Santorum – The things that come out of his mouth are astounding and dangerous.  One most only wonder if he has any kind of self filter, meaning he has more outrageous views.  Lets start with his calling Obama a “snob” because he wants to make college affordable to all.  This is a reckless and dangerous comment.  One of the United States’ biggest challenges is to stay competitive in the globalization of the worlds economy; encouraging kids not to go to college, or saying not going is ok is completely unacceptable.  Positions like this, desperate election sound bites, could lead to a decline in the future of America.  Not to mention, going to college gives you a leg up in the workforce, offers higher overall pay.  The unemployment rate for college grads today is 4%; and here is Rick Santorum saying having the goal of helping kids go to college is being a “snob”.  Wanting to vomit over the separation of church and state?  If I am not mistaken that is one of the founding principles of this country.  Attacking JFK.  This might be too nuanced for a simpleton like Santorum to understand but what Kennedy was saying was the Church won’t rule the country he will; that does not mean that his views are an accumulation of a lifetime of his experiences, including going to and being around people who were devout followers.  Rick’s views on women in the workplace are absurd.  His views on gay rights are bigoted and unacceptable.

Mr. Santorum is a disgrace to this country; if he ever were to become President he could single handedly bring down the prestige, power and goodness of America and make it a laughing stock.  Sarah Palin would be a better choice!

Are We Living Through Another Great Depression?

I have often wondered about that; when this time is looked at 50 or 100 years from now will it be labelled the Great Depression II?  You hear  so many conflicting stories and news reports, the recession officially ended in June 2009; but it seems things have only gotten worse since then.  Sporadic, job growth that has in no way been strong enough to make up for the lost jobs.  We hear this recession is different than any other time in history, thats why its taking so long to get to full employment.  The effective unemployment and under employment rate is 25%, we have the largest amount of people unemployed for over a year since the Great Depression I, poverty in the US is at an all time high.  Its no wonder people are anxious and spending less money.  Employed people are anxious as well, they see whats going on, I am sure the know someone who was laid off during the down turn, and it has to be in the back of their heads, what if i am next?  So, with people being more cautious (or just having no money at all) they are spending less on just about everything.  I see this in Brooklyn where I live, so many store fronts closed, out of business.  Restaurants in Manhattan also closing, as are other service oriented businesses.  Recently we hear things are getting better, people spent more during the holidays (they also returned at staggering rates), and so now maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel?  I am not a historian or an economic scholar but I have read enough about the Great Depression to know a lot about it.  The period was not completely grim, at one point, around 1937 I think, the stock market was booming and things were looking up.  Then the government brought in austerity and everything came crashing down again.  Obviously we all hope that will not happen again.

Back to today; the closed shops, sour mood of the country, a nonfunctioning government.  The soup lines aren’t around anymore, they are replaced by people filing for government assistance online.  The question is still open, is this the Great Depression 2.0; or the lost decade (or 2) of Japan?  Time will tell.